Being a senior in high school facing the choice of which college to go to is a terrifying and stressful experience. Thoughts such as “What if I picked the wrong place?,” “What even will my major be?,” and “What if I don’t find any friends?” definitely ran through my head on repeat before I stepped foot on Auburn University’s campus for the first time.
I started my first year of college as a journalism major, believing that it was the career path that I wanted to follow. However, I quickly realized that this major was not for me. Instead, I was looking for something that would help me let out my creative side and be an outlet to meet new people. Switching majors at any point during your college career can be daunting, but it’s always important to remember that it’s perfectly fine to do so and to find your passion. For me, this passion was public relations.
A word cloud with the most common phrases associated with PR, via Buchanan Public Relations
The public relations major at Auburn is described as a “fast-paced field that combines different media-related jobs.” As soon as I read the description on the School of Communication and Journalism website, I knew that this major was for me. I was mainly pulled towards the idea of being able to combine multiple aspects of media and communication into one career, such as making long-term relationships, writing creatively, working with photo, video, and audio, working with different social media platforms, and more.
To me, public relations is the perfect fit for people who enjoy helping work with design and communication creatively and working with people 24/7. Switching to PR became the best thing for me since Auburn offers many opportunities for public relations majors to learn more skills, gain the necessary experience to help them in their post-graduation career, and create long-lasting friendships.
One of these opportunities is The Oaks Agency, a student-run and founded public relations firm that works closely with multiple small businesses in the Auburn-Opelika area. I was part of the staff during its first year and stayed until my senior year, and it was undoubtedly an amazing experience. This organization provided me with so many new friendships, challenges, and lifelong lessons.
During my time there, I worked closely with Toomer’s Drugs and helped improve their social media presence. One of my favorite things from this experience was helping create a Pup Photoshoot through this business, where the other staff on this team and I worked with local dogs as we took their photos in Toomer’s merchandise.
Working on the Pup Photoshoot with Oaks Agency and Toomer’s Drugs
Auburn also encourages students in public relations to participate in internships to help them get a taste of their new career. Students can find a wide range of possibilities for an internship, from entertainment management to tech consulting. For example, I’ve participated in two internships during my time at Auburn that involved book publicity, which I think really proves that you can do anything you want with public relations!
During my time interning for both SparkPoint Studio and dandelion pr, I worked with authors to promote their books, sent pitches to a wide variety of media contacts, managed my internships’ social media channels, and wrote articles for multiple outlets such as SheReads, Create + Cultivate, Women.com, Parade and many more! I even got to write a book round-up for Camila Alves McConaughey!
I truly believe that public relations help build community and encourage college students to find friends. If you are a college student that is still lost on their major decision, I highly suggest checking out your school’s list of possible majors and minors. I also heavily encourage that you check out public relations, especially since it is a decision I will never regret making.